Mike Oliver

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Everything posted by Mike Oliver

  1. At night TGS to swim in many places on the Cape would be the actions of a crazy man. Those GW have stopped a few of us in our tracks . We used to wade out from a beach near Wellfleet at night up to chest deep way way out. Not on your nelly any more. Wet suiting is a bit different on the Cape compared to Montauk. Montauk it was great to deep wade stroke swim to small rocks and to fight it out on the south side beaches . On the Cape the wet suit for me is purely a potential get out of jail card if I get timings wrong on the flats or get caught in a current and swept off in an Inlet. Mind thinking back to this spring we did wade waist deep in some spots in the dark of night. Best not to think about it now. I guess we can never predict where and when a shark might show up. The Backside Beaches are now totally off limits in terms of getting into the water day or night. My favourite places to fish to.. If it’s not seals it is the sharks coming to feast on the seals. You are wise. Mike
  2. Kinigit First lesson we did Roll, Switch, Single and Double Spey. Second two hour lesson the focus was just on those two casts. the Roll and Single Spey. All the caste are special but have to admit I especially love the feeling of the initial lift and then rod sweep to set the anchor on the single Spey. Trying to keep the cast connected is a big challenge. But challenges are good for us. If you stay with it no reason why you can’t get good at both the water anchored and touch and go airborne anchored casts. I see you got the same buzz as me with the lessons. Until you do them you don’t realise what the effect can be. But everyone I speak to say they were pretty made up. As you say totally worth it. Mike
  3. Over the years I have often suggested that the best solution to casting woes is not gear centred but learning centered. So I listened to what I was saying to others. I have long been fascinated by spey casting. I did not want to fall into the same trap as I had previously with the single hand rod and try the self teach route. This is a ground floor opportunity to grove in a decent cast as apposed to one which might get me by. Yesterday I had my second lesson. Two casts Roll and single spey. Never realised just how difficult both casts are if you are to do them correctly. The single spey has very few moves but I find it extremely challenging. But I have the bug. What I quickly had confirmed was that without another to observe your cast you are totally blind to your mistakes. One of the best investments we can make is to get a great cast. To be able to cast well is a shear pleasure in its own right. I appreciate that it is not possible for everyone to get lessons for a multitude of reasons. I could not afford them in my younger years myself and there is not always a teacher close to home. Currently I have to travel 126 miles each way so it is a big commitment both time and cost. I strongly recommend that if you can find the resources to have lessons it is something that will bring you great rewards and a lot of fun along the way. Mike
  4. He is a Master APPGAI Instructor. He gets to examine the Instructors at exam time. The Guy is just such a brilliant casting coach as well as a world class caster. He is well into Atlantic Salmon fishing. It is a passion for him like Stripers are to us. Sage and RIO did a day at my local reservoir Draycote in the spring this year and if you got lucky you could get an hour with Simon Gawesworth and a couple ,of other Sage Guys . I was too late but a few days before the event I got a call from the fishery manager to say they had a cancellation. Had my free hour and fell in love with TH spey and am now on a new journey learning how to cast and fish for Atlantic Salmon,and all that goes with it. Only prob is he is 3500 miles away from you. USA has great spey casters and teachers. You only have to put in single spey into google and it will throw up a number of them. No probs on the TH front for the surf. That’s my passion and I enjoy sharing what knowledge and experience I have. What’s good is that there is a group albeit small who feel the same way so there is now other guys who can help out to. PM on its way. mike
  5. Heh slip My buddy Mike G. was having a lesson before me. He was given a 9 foot 6 wt Sage Igniter and it was teamed with a Rio SH spey Line. Hows about this. The set up worked great. We had a ****** wind and at times had to cast into it. Who would have thought unless you cast this outfit yourself that a lightening fast rod could roll cast arrow head loops into a wind or circle C cast easily. Often we are told you can’t easily teach with fast rods. Well Mike G did not know how fast this rod is he just picked it up and cast it pretty well. I talked with the instructor at the end of the lesson and he prefers fast rods period. He said that slower or medium fast rods are not easier to cast and they can’t be more forgiving. You make a bad cast with any action rod then it will be bad. No rod can fix it. It really is BS. You know Mike and he has some serious health issues one being a bone on bone in his shoulder of his casting arm. And yet because he was being taught good form he was casting with excellent loops and without unnecessary effort. This after just one hour of good instruction. Mikes over 70 so who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks maybe needs a re think. I had this preconception that sustained water anchored casts would be noisy with single hand set ups. Let’s just say I have a different view now having seen the set up work. Not surprised you like it yourself and for the reasons you give. The OH performance of this line was nice to. The rear end weight bias and slim front taper enable pretty gentle presentation. FWIW the TH rod he gave me to use is the fastest in the Sage range. Again because I am totally unfamiliar with modern spey rods this did not faze me at all. My focus was trying to do as instructed so I did not notice I was casting with a very fast rod. Maybe if he had told me before the start this info could have effected me. Two old dogs having fun learning new stuff. Hard to beat. Mike
  6. You get an aweful lot of rod compared to a high end fly rod which barely has two ounces of carbon pre preg in its make up and usually sports snake guides which cost about 30 cents each. You are talking $850. The retailer has to make a margin to so St Croix are not getting all that $600. My perception is that this is a very fair price. There are alternatives if $600 is too uncomfortable. mikey
  7. For a bond to break in the first place suggests very strongly very poor workmanship and very likely a very poor process. There is a reason this problem occurs. The manufacturers should be so embarrassed that they should be leaning over backwards to sort this mess out. If required guides should be removed to allow a proper solution to be applied. Which is removal of any grips in front of the seat and removal of old seat. Blank needs to be cleaned up and new arbors installed and then seat epoxied up. Drilling holes and putting in epoxy is a cop out solution and not without risk to the integrity of the blank. Half assed is quite kindly put. Mike
  8. Z Probably reason why Brits not there is I suspect that individual competitors are not sponsored and would need to cover their own costs. I am obviously behind the pace on surf rod and tournament rod developments. When I departed beach fishing and my interest in building Tourney rods these long Continental,rods were arriving. They as far as I can recall were almost the antidote to super stiff fast U.K. blanks which your average fishing Joe would never get the best of. They did not appeal to me at all having cast blanks like Zziplex and Century. Being small I am still a fan of short pendulum rods. If we still had decent shore fishing in Europe let alone the U.K. I would never have left my roots. I checked out these Italica rods after yours and Flatwings posts. I wish we had good fishing as they would motivate me these performance versions to try them out. I do see the same marketing BS with the descriptions which made me smile. Some things don’t change at all. Ivan I think these rods are worth a look. A serious look. Long UK surf blanks in my time definitely needed reel down low. This would hold for any very powerful stiff rod. The ones we used to term. no bend. The most common mistake was guys who were average to poor casters wanting the ultimate tourney blank right off the bat. It used to be very hard work explaining that a rod progression was needed to match growing skills. But that was anti male and expensive. I bet the same BS is going on today. Mike
  9. Flatwing Sorry to hear about your physical probs. 525 feet is an excellent cast. You have cast some seriously nice rods on your journey. I do understand how the bug can hit you as regards LDC. There is such a huge amount of satisfaction of being able, to load and then control a high performance blank. The sensation on release is addictive. That initial scream of the reel and then the change in tone as the speed of the spool changes with the reduction in line as it follows the lead. Of all the high performance blanks I cast Zziplex for me had the most exciting feel to it. I go back a long way. I used to cast 2500, short butt and long butt Dream Machines. The super smooth NG1 and the GS Special Match. My fishing rods were the 1002 and 1005. For Bass the NG2 and the Lite Bass which is my favourite rod of all time. I brought the Lite Bass to Montauk some 23 years ago and cast it Under The Light. It did ok. Ivan sorry I have strayed off topic. I have not been very helpful. On reflection I think you are better served by looking for product readily available in Australia. What I would suggest is that at this stage it is not necessary to go to 14 feet to get the distance you are seeking when fishing bait. A 12 foot rod will be easier to handle with a high reel,position which is also good impractical terms when fishing. Easier to reel in and if you fish with a rest your reel is out of the sand. Rods that need a low reel position are a pain when cranking in even with what’s called a reducer. Fighting a fish is not great with a low reel position . Some Guys will put a plate seat up the rod and move the reel up after casting. Good luck hope you find the rod that works for you. Mike
  10. As I see it there should be no need for a public consultation. If it is recognised that the resource is in dire straights then those taxed with looking after the resource should take the required actions necessary led by science. Reality is that interested parties will want their say. Some will not have long term future of the resource as their priority is only making money from it today. So as there is an opportunity to have our input we should do so. mike
  11. Agree. Must admit it is not a job I enjoy doing. Afraid I have no idea at what most builders would price a job like this at. Hope it works out ok for you. mike
  12. Flatwing Great detailed info. Zziplex Rods cast by world class guys have ruled for a long time and still have the.capability to,do,so. Not aware of the Italian company. About time there was some serious competition . Fair play to them. The context of my reply is as it relates to actually fishing. The guys in the tournaments are world class. Many are very big strong men and they can handle long powerful rods with spinning reels in the high position. Donny is a very big strong guy as well as talented.Outside of these elite casters I believe that what I have said is accurate. The reality is that even in this day and age very few guys will you see cast over 100 yards on a beach with bait. For a good many years I built professionally on both Zziplex , Conoflex, and Century blanks and what is sometimes described as a fishing rod is pushing the boundaries quite far. Going back not too many years the only thing that sold expensive surf blanks was distance.This meant blanks which the vast majority were not able to use at all well. We don’t need tournament rated surf blanks to put a bait out to 100 yards. For many it would be counter productive. It can be challenging also get a bait out there without destroying it with very powerful cast made on ultra stiff quick rods. One or two shops in the Uk do put out nice looking high end surf rods. But if you are a serious tourney caster or serious surf Fisher then you will fully understand the benefits from building your own or getting a skilled custom rod builder who understands the requirements to get the best out of your rod. I don’t think it makes sense to go to a cookie cutter factory build or shop build if you are driven by both performance and quality and wanting to specify the best components to match the blanks capabilities. But agree there are rods out there off the shelf that will perform well. Mike
  13. Pretty low uni and **** degree. oly
  14. Ivan The best long range rods originate from the U.K. You are looking at two makers Zziplex and Century Composites. Google them up. I would suggest you email them and ask for advice. If you go for a full blown tourney model right off the bat it is unlikely to work out for you. These long range very powerful rods need a very good technique or you just won’t bend them and your cast will be short and directionally probably poor to. Normally you are advised to work your way up through the models. Best distance comes with conventional reels mounted low down on the butt by low down talking around 6 inches. High reel position and spinning reels are not a good solution. You don’t need a full blown tourney blank to put a bait out a good way. A 5 to 6 Oz lead and small bait will allow a very good caster to bet over 100 yards. 150 is possible by the worlds top casters. As soon as you start looking at 8 ozs and bait then distances will fall sharply. ok A 12 foot rod will take you to your target distances and will be a lot easier to control and fight fish with. You can use a reel in high position and either a spin or conventional. 11’ 8 “ short pendulum with 5 ozs were cast in the early days out to 240 yards in tournaments. On a beach with single worm bait best guys might hit 150 in good conditions. These rods compared to some could be considered expensive. Compared to a high end fly rod they are fantatsic value. Value wise they are quite incredible. They are not great fish fighting rods. They need a lot of input from the Caster. Strength will never substitute for skill with these types of blanks. Mostly it’s a case of buy a blank and build yourself . It is the best way to. But you dont need to go to a Zziplex or Century to get a 6oz lead and small bait out to 100 yards . But the handling and feel of these blanks is just world class. Mike
  15. G Just a suggestion. Placing a blank in any vice is very risky. Mike
  16. It is unlikely that the finish on the wraps is effected. Yes the original finish can be removed and then blank re finished. Not easy to get factory type finish without some experience. Do you want to do this work yourself. If not suggest you get a proper rod builder to do it rather than a tackle shop job. mike
  17. Bigred I had no idea about the provenance of the Rod Gedk blanks buy thanks to Billy V I do now. I don’t think you could go wrong and with a good warranty even better. St Croix product is excellent . It would not necessarily be an upgrade to anyone elses blank. It is what works for you. mike
  18. J Batson. Great blanks. I was not sure if they were still in business. I liked especially their surf blanks. Good value product. mike
  19. No . I don’t think he would be able to cope if he was still with us that or he would maybe just smile. Mike
  20. Darwin probably used to ask questions like this to. Mikey
  21. J That is pretty much how it will be. Pity but it’s life. What I hope for is that everyone who has or had a problem gets looked after and that the business bounces back as livelihoods could be lost. That would be a tragedy. Tight Lines Mikey
  22. Brian I have been fishing single hand CTS rods for many years now. They really are a world class product. I also have fished Sage rods for even longer. I like them equally . They are different both have their own identifiable signature. If you ever get the opportunity to fish one for a while there is a strong possibility that you would get to like them a lot. Like Sage they tend to release new models frequently which means keeping up expensive. My personal favourites are the Affinty MX in a 10 wt. Only made now as a special order. The Affinity X is a faster blank but very light and very castable. They will cast to accurate AAFTM line ratings. So my MX 10 wt is very happy throwing a nominal 280 grains plus a bit more. It is not a 12 wt in disguise like some modern salt water fly rods. One day I will have to come and break my personal rule and come fish in a boat with you and we can play around with each other’s rods. Be fun and catch a few fish to. I can only speak of them in terms of shore fishing capability. I have no idea as to their suitability for boat fishing and the species you often target . Mike
  23. Billy Vivona is likely to have an opinion. You can find him easily in rod building forum. There is a reasonable choice of blanks out there. CTS are makers of world class fly blanks. Worth looking at them. Other end of price spectrum you have Dan Craft and Rain Shadow. Sage sell blanks to. These companies have provenance . mike
  24. I wonder. When faced with a buying decision and TD might be the lowest price vendor it’s amazing how short memories can be . The Punter in people tends to come to the fore. What is not apparent to some is that when crap happens it happens and the whole Shabang goes down the pan. Every part of a business gets effected and malfunctions. A systems issue for a mail order company is paralysing. They will I hope ride the wave and recover and it will be as before. Mike
  25. The not so palatable reply is that like many aspects of fishing jigging is an acquired skill. Time it takes to get decent at it varies person to person. No easy mechanical solution. But even very good jiggers will at times lose contact. It is not a perfect science. You can’t always get the position on the boat you want so then it gets tougher. You may only be able to keep your jig fishing well for a short period of time before you need to recover it and re present. Don’t beat yourself up and get too frustrated . Others can be struggling to but they won’t necessarily let on. Some won’t even be aware that their jig is way out the taking zone. Wind speed and tide and water depth can change constantly which means fast not in ten minutes time changes in jig weight and how you might fish it. Most Guys are slow to change. Many stick with set up they started with. Good jigging is an art and can be a nice fulfilling work out to. If the boat will allow casting then that is a great advantage if you can get a spot on the boat and cast in direction boat is drifting. Just don’t let the boat over run your jig and line. You will get there. Looks like you are driven to it so it should be a given for you. Good luck and enjoy. Mikey